MX23RW : Tuesday, May 11 03:22:26| >> :600:214777:214777:
Apr 21, 2021 at 7.45pm UK at Kenilworth Road Stadium
LutonLuton Town

Bradley (44'), Collins (90+1')

Yiadom (35')

Preview: Luton Town vs. Reading - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Championship clash between Luton Town and Reading, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Reading cannot afford to drop any more points in their bid to finish in the Championship top six as they prepare to face Luton Town at Kenilworth Road.

The Royals have won just one of their last seven games to lose ground on the playoffs, while Luton have climbed up to 13th thanks to back-to-back victories.

Match preview

Reading's Michael Olise celebrates with his teamates after he scores their first goal against Derby County in the Championship on April 5, 2021© Reuters

Veljko Paunovic's side have spent the majority of 2020-21 in the top six, and even enjoyed a spell in top spot, but it is looking like they will just miss out on the playoffs.

Friday's 1-1 home draw with Cardiff City leaves Reading four points behind sixth-placed Barnsley with four games to play.

Two of those games are against sides in the top three, so this really is a game the Royals have to win - plus hope for a helping hand from Huddersfield Town against Barnsley - if they are to stay in contention.

A point against Cardiff was rather fortunate in the end for Paunovic's men, having trailed to a Kieffer Moore penalty until Yakou Meite struck in the 94th minute.

With Barnsley suffering a shock loss to Coventry City two days later, that point could yet prove to be huge for the Berkshire outfit.

Luton Town's James Collins celebrates scoring their first goal against Watford in the Championship on April 17, 2021© Reuters

One win in seven does not suggest that Reading have the ability to see out the season with a winning run, however, and Luton will certainly be no walkovers.

The Hatters followed up a 3-1 win at bottom side Wycombe Wanderers with a 1-0 victory at home to Watford on Saturday thanks to a late James Collins penalty.

Not only did that win earn Luton bragging rights against their neighbours, it also moved them just three points off ninth with a game in hand to play.

However, not since February 2019 have Nathan Jones's side won three league games in a row in a single season, which they are of course looking to achieve on Wednesday evening.

Luton also have a poor recent record against Reading, losing all three encounters since the start of last season by a 10-1 aggregate scoreline.

Luton Town Championship form:
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W

Reading Championship form:
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • D

Team News

Reading's Lucas Joao reacts on January 2, 2021© Reuters

Eunan O'Kane and Tom Lockyer are Luton's only confirmed injury absentees, while Harry Cornick is a fitness doubt.

Collins is pushing for a recall to the side after scoring the winner against Watford, which could mean Kazenga LuaLua making way.

Glen Rea is another who is pushing for inclusion in central midfield, with Jones expected to stick with a 4-3-1-2 formation.

As for the visitors, Lucas Joao dislocated his shoulder last week in a further blow to their promotion hopes.

That will likely see George Puscas come in from the start at Kenilworth Road.

Meite should get the nod out on the right as he looks to add to the four goals he scored away at Luton in last season's fixture.

Luton Town possible starting lineup:
Sluga; Bree, Pearson, Bradley, Naismith; Clark, Dewsbury-Hall, Rea; Mpanzu; Adebayo, Collins

Reading possible starting lineup:
Cabral; Yiadom, Moore, Holmes, Richards; Rinomhota, Laurent; Meite, Olise, Ejaria; Puscas

SM words green background

We say: Luton Town 3-1 Reading

Reading have a good record against Luton and won 5-0 on their most recent visit to Kenilworth Road.

There is no chance of a repeat scoreline here, though, with the Hatters now in a far better shape.

Only three teams have collected more points than Luton over their last six Championship games, and we can see them recording another victory here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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Reading manager Veljko Paunovic pictured in December 2020
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Veljko Paunovic insists Reading will keep "pounding away" in playoff bid
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